Imagination needs inspiration to bloom.


The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol

A great inspiration to authors like Fyodor Dostoevsky, Gogols ”Overcoat” has survived 170 years and continues to mesmerize readers over the world. The short story centers around a titular councillor named Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin and his unfortunate experience with hierarchy and bureaucracy. When Akaky realizes he needs a new overcoat for work, his problems start.

There are certainly many different hidden meanings to interpret, if ignoring the practicalities and consider it from a more psychological perspective. The immense importance which is associated with materialism, not only when it comes to protection against the cold, but also regarding status in society, is worth considering. The way Akaky changes when wearing the new overcoat is interesting - perhaps the story is about an invisible man suddenly, with a piece of fabric, becoming the center of attention, just to be made invisible again? What happens, psychologically, if the feeling of communion and acceptance from others, is given and suddenly taken away? What is most prominent, however, is the bureaucracy that Akaky is facing - a down right obstacle, complicating everything, even preventing the purpose of the ministries. The message of the story is how this could affect someone of low hierarchy.

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